Ok, I set my computer up in the kitchen, so we’ll try this blogging thing in real-time!
I just got back from a huge grocery trip (I saved about $25 with coupons – I only moved into my apartment a month ago, so I still had a lot of staples I had to buy and couldn’t afford to wait for sales… next time, my shopping should be back to normal and I’ll be able to save a lot more!). One of the recipes I planned for before my trip was Clean Eating Chicken Salad (courtesy of the amazing Gracious Pantry – one of my favorite clean eating resources). I’ve never made it before so we’ll give it a shot tonight and see what happens!
Before we get started, I’m already going to switch something up. The recipe calls for baked chicken breasts (you’re supposed to shred them yourself), but I scored a great deal on Tyson diced baked chicken breasts (two for $6, which equals $0.99 in savings, PLUS I used $0.75 off coupons on each item – meaning I got $21 worth of chicken for only $13.50), so tonight we’re cooking with Tyson! Die-hard clean eaters would not be happy with this and I’ll admit, I’m not a die-hard clean eater and even I feel like this is a little bit of a no-no. But here’s the thing: I don’t have a lot of time, I don’t have a lot of money and I’m about to cook an almost completely clean meal that will save me from eating a pizza or cheeseburger later. So Tyson already baked chicken it is!
Ok, so let’s get down to business. The first thing I’m going to do is mix up some Clean Eating Ranch Dressing (again: courtesy of Tiffany at The Gracious Pantry):
(Makes approximately 8 tbsp.)
5 tbsp. low-fat buttermilk **See Note!
3 tbsp. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried chives
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
Tiffany doubled the recipe, so I’m doing the same thing. (Side note: I’m wondering how long you have to cook before you stop confusing TBSP with TSP – seriously! I have to remind myself to double-check every time!)
Ok, so everything’s all mixed up. Things got a tad bit ghetto when I couldn’t find my whisk (I’ve moved a million times and everything usually makes it, so I’ll take one or two small casualties here and there!) and I resorted to using one of the mixers from my blender:
Who said clean eating has to be fancy?!
Next step: Add one chopped red onion. Not a problem because I cheated here too:
(Don’t forget to stop doubling the recipe – that was just for the dressing part – otherwise, your salad is going to be crazy onion-y!)
Now I’m going to throw some chicken in the skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil and switch out a load of laundry. (This is like the easiest cooking experience ever!) If you’re cheating like me, I used one bag of “Grilled and Ready” chicken (about 7.5 ounces). I hope you’re not, though, because I’m feeling more and more guilty as I go! But if you are: make sure you dice up the chicken even more with your spatula.
…Ok back from laundry and I just had the BEST idea: raisins! (My friends are probably laughing right now, because raisins are one of my favorite foods ever!) I definitely feel like raisins should go into this salad, so ½ a cup it is!
I keep my almonds right by my raisins, so while the chicken cools down (it only takes a couple minutes to cook), I think I’ll chop some up and toss those in too:
I chop up my own almonds, but buy pre-diced onions – there’s really no rhyme or reason!
Ok, added a little less than ¼ cup of almonds. My last ingredient is celery (still waiting for the chicken to cool). No cheating here either:
I feel like Giada De Laurentiis when I dice things!
I added two stalks of celery… now it’s time to mix in the chicken and call it a day:
Notes: Next time I’d use a little less buttermilk. I read on The Gracious Pantry that thinner dressings could be the result of the brand of buttermilk you use. I think maybe, just for the amount of chicken I added, I had a little too much! Then again, the carton said “Shake Well for Best Taste” and I didn’t shake at all – so maybe that was part of it!
I’ll be honest, the first thing I thought when I tasted a spoonful was: “UGH! I just took all these pictures and wrote a whole blog post and this tastes… strange!” But then (keep reading – there’s a happy ending!), I put it in the refrigerator for a couple hours, threw some on a piece of toast and… it tasted really good! I don’t know if this is normal refrigerator magic, but I really think it needs to set for a little bit. The other thing I realized was: non-fat, plain Greek yogurt is not the same as mayonnaise – so yeah, it’s going to taste a little bit different than your grandma’s. But it’s still really good! Even though I try to only have half a piece of bread at a time (gluten is not my friend!), I definitely recommend making this as a sandwich!
Hope you enjoy!
Let me know if you try it – or if you have any other clean eating chicken salad recipes!
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